Bhubaneswar, Dec 25 (LocalWire) Odisha on Tuesday celebrated Christmas with much fervour.
The state soaked in festivity since Monday night with twin cities Cuttack and Bhubaneswar decked up with lights, balloons and festoons.
People from across religions came out to celebrate the festive mood of the day.
Churches across the state held midnight masses. There were carol singing by choir boys and girls that brought in the air of Christmas.
Churches, shops and houses in Rourkela, Kandhamal, and Sambalpur too were decorated with colourful lights, X-Mas trees, candles and balloons.
Amid prevailing cold wave condition and tight security measures, the Christian community in Kandhamal district celebrated their biggest annual festival Christmas on Tuesday.
Kandhamal has a sizable population of Christians.
Braving the prevailing cold wave condition, the Christians were seen flocking to churches and prayer houses in the district.
Security was tightened across the district with deployment of around 30 platoons of forces.
Patrolling was intensified in the district from Sunday, while vehicles are also being checked at several points. Striking forces have been engaged in sensitive areas of the district, said Superintendent of Police (Kandhamal) Prateek Singh.
Kandhamal witnessed widespread communal and ethnic violences followed by the killing of senior Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and his four disciples on August 23, 2008.
At least 38 persons died, while several hundred houses and religious
structures were destroyed in the violence.
Also, on Dec 25, 2007, tribal leader Khageswar Mallick was killed at Barkhama village under Baliguda police station limit during the riots.